Show #138: Anthia Koullouros on adaptogenic herbs, stress and the bigger clinical picture


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And onto this week’s show!

Adaptogenic herbs: all the rage these days and self-prescribing is rife – but is it helping or hindering your health? Anthia Koullouros is a brilliant naturopath and passionate herbalist with 25 years clinical experience in Sydney, Australia. She’s also a gifted tea maker, with her OVVIO teas being sipped in some of the finest restaurants in the world as well as throughout local cafes. When Anthia and I were both speaking recently at the Mindd Forum, she closed the day with a wonderful talk and I just had to invite her on the show to share it and more with us. So, we start with adaptogens – everything from Shisandra to Amla to Bacopa Monnieri and many herbs in between, and then move to discuss stress and its many presentations, as well as fear and the block it can create for you on a healing journey. It’s chock full of useful information this show and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 


The questions I asked Anthia:

  • How did you come to discover naturopathy as your calling?
  • What have you noticed over the past 25 years since you began in the profession?
  • Adaptogenic herbs: All the rage in the supplement / herbal world but buyer beware: unless people know what they’re doing, they could easily do themselves a disservice and set their health BACK, instead of moving forward. So let’s look at each of the major ones – amazing features/uses/best-combined partners but first: What is an adaptogen?  
    • Ashwagandha
    • Eleuthero – Siberian
    • Schisandra
    • Amla
    • Bacopa monnieri/ Brahmi
    • Rhodiola
    • Tulsi
    • Maca
    • Any others? Happy to add to the list…
  • What can the signs be that we’re using one that’s not working for us (example, someone quite relaxed already doing bacopa and then slipping into feeling de-motivated etc)  
  • I’d love to address adaptogens with yin/yang energies, suited to different constitutions
  • Often people come to use these herbs because of stress, burn out etc… What do you work on with the proliferation of stressed out people presenting these days in practice?
  • With chronic stress, chronic illness can follow and I often wonder if we fill our lives up with so much stuff because we’re trying to block out tougher stuff – pain/fear. I know fear is a big one for you to help your clients work through: Tell me how that came to be, given it’s probably not something in the naturopathic textbooks…
  • How has learning about fear played out for you personally?
  • How do you practice consciousness daily to keep fear at a healthy distance from being able to take over again?
  • And given you’re a tea maker with your beautiful Ovvio teas… Which of the adaptogenic herbs do best in teas and what are some of the most effective combinations in terms of blending them with other herbs?
  • Therapeutic dose tea: How do we go from ‘yummy’ to ‘health affecting’ dose?
  • What do you think one of the most important things we can do for our health is that you’re not necessarily seeing people do today enough?

Other helpful links:

To find out more about Anthia Koullouros and her work check out:

Connect with her on Instagram @anthia.koullouros.naturopath  or on Facebook

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Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet

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